Flu Hits Yakima Area

Local hospitals are a seeing a significant rise in the number of flu cases they are treating this year.

We met with 11 year old Elexis Gibson, who was sitting in the waiting room at Yakima Regional.

Gibson has a case of the flu, and has been forced to miss school because of it.

"My throat's been really hurting, it's been in pain right here," said Gibson, "It's been really hurting, I can't eat as much."

With the flu season in high gear, local hospitals say they are seeing the number of people check in for the flu rise.

And with that, they are seeing more people come in for their flu shots -- this morning people had to wait almost an hour to get their vaccine.

No matter where you go, people are talking about the flu.

From the east coast to the west coast, it's a national epidemic, and Yakima is no different.

Numbers are up about 30 percent compared to last year.

"I think everybody was a little bit lulled to sleep, for lack of a better term, by last years mild flu season," said Dr. John Zambito, "This year, it's been a pretty active flu season. So we're seeing quite a bit over the last few weeks here in town"

Elexis Gibson says she hopes she can serve as an example for people to make sure they stay healthy during the flu season -- especially her classmates.

"You'll just get sick," said Gibson, "and there's no bother, because if you don't go to school, if you don't get you're flu shot, and you go to school and you're really sick, and you have to go home, how are you supposed to learn anything?"

Doctors say there is no shortage of flu vaccines, and you can stop by your local clinic or doctor's office to receive your shot.